Things to Know Before You Go to Copenhagen, Denmark

Counting the days before jetting off to Denmark’s charming capital? You’re on the right path as this blog lists all the important things to know before you go to Copenhagen.

Low-angle shot of the Rosenberg Castle in Copenhagen
Low-angle shot of the Rosenberg Castle in Copenhagen

Welcome to Copenhagen— where the coffee is strong, design is sleek, and locals bike faster than your Wi-Fi connection at home. The city isn’t just one of the safest and happiest cities on the globe; it’s a hub of hip, from its eco-chic lifestyle to its booming food scene. And as you plot your course to Denmark’s trend-setting capital, there are a couple of key things to know before you go to Copenhagen. 

Ready to cycle through a city that’s as friendly as it is fashionable? 

Let’s zip through everything from the best street eats to the secret spots that’ll make your Instagram light up!

When to Go & How to Get Around Copenhagen

Timing your visit is one of the most important things to know before you go to Copenhagen. If you want to see Copenhagen in full swing, late spring through early summer (April to June) is ideal. The city bursts into life with cafe culture and lush greenery. 

However, if you’re looking to catch those endless summer days, aim for August when the sun lingers longest in the sky. Meanwhile, winter brings its own magic in December, transforming the city into a festive wonderland, complete with sparkling lights and bustling Christmas markets (just don’t forget to bundle up!)

Once you’ve picked the perfect time for a visit, getting around Copenhagen is quite a breeze— not to mention fun, too! Ditch the car because this city is built for biking! With designated bike lanes and plenty of rental spots, cycling is surely the way to go. 

Prefer to be on foot? The city’s layout also makes it perfect for walking, especially the picturesque paths along the canals and through historic districts like Nyhavn

But for longer distances, Copenhagen’s public transport is always reliable and comprehensive, covering buses, trains, and a metro system that’s both clean and efficient.

The lake in Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen
The lake in Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen

What to Do & Where to Stay in Copenhagen

In Copenhagen, every corner promises a new adventure, making it a playground for both culture aficionados and leisure seekers. 

Kick off your explorations at Tivoli Gardens, which is not merely an amusement park but a historical gem in itself. This hotspot favorite has enchanted visitors since 1843 with its lush gardens and thrilling rides.

On the other hand, art lovers will thrive on a visit to the National Gallery of Denmark, which boasts an extensive collection ranging from Danish Golden Age works to contemporary pieces. 

And for a unique cultural twist, wander through the autonomous district of Christiania, known for its colorful street art and distinctive alternative community. This neighborhood offers a stark contrast to Copenhagen’s more polished areas and is a testament to the city’s diverse urban tapestry.

When it comes to finding a place to stay, Copenhagen caters to all tastes and budgets. The city center (Indre By) is perfect for those who want to be in the heart of the action, with accommodation options ranging from the luxurious Skt. Petri to charming vacation rentals

If you prefer a trendier, more laid-back atmosphere, the neighborhoods of Vesterbro and Nørrebro are excellent choices. Vesterbro is dotted with boutique hotels and is known for its colorful nightlife and culinary scene, making it ideal for those who wish to indulge in Danish gastronomy and after-dark activities. 

Meanwhile, Nørrebro offers a more bohemian vibe with eclectic shops and cozy cafés, ideal for travelers looking to experience the city’s youthful, creative side.

Insider Tips: Things to Know Before You Go to Copenhagen

As mentioned earlier, Copenhagen is quite an easy city to navigate but knowing a few local tips can elevate your experience from good to great. 

Whether it’s your first visit or you’re back to explore deeper, keep these good-to-know tips in mind before you go to Copenhagen:

  • Many of Copenhagen’s museums offer free admission on certain days of the week. The National Museum is free to visit anytime; while the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek is free every last Wednesday of each month. 
  • Consider purchasing a Copenhagen Card if you plan to visit multiple attractions. It offers free admission to over 80 museums and attractions, plus unlimited public transport.
  • Make time for a traditional Danish lunch, which typically includes ‘smørrebrød’ (open-faced sandwiches). Head to places like Torvehallerne for a variety of local options.
  • Cycling is a popular mode of transportation in Copenhagen, but there are rules to follow. Always signal your turns, keep to the right, and use bike lights after dark. It goes without saying, renting a bike is an excellent way to explore the city just like a local.
  • Tap water in Denmark is clean and drinkable. You can refill your water bottle at any tap or request tap water at restaurants without issue, which is environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
  • Each of Copenhagen’s neighborhoods has its own character. Spend time in Norrebro for its eclectic mix of cultures and cuisines, Vesterbro for cool shops and hip cafes, and Frederiksberg for its parks and upscale shopping.
  • Unlike some other European cities, Copenhagen’s restaurants can close relatively early. Plan your dining experiences accordingly, and consider making reservations if you intend to eat out after 7 PM, especially at popular spots.
The Copenhagen port where boats are docked with colorful houses in the background
The Copenhagen port where boats are docked with colorful houses in the background

Experience The Charm of Copenhagen With ThisCityKnows

Ready to jet off to Copenhagen? Armed with these essential things to know before you go, you’re all set to blend in like a local in one of the world’s happiest cities. Whether you’re cycling down historic lanes or sipping coffee in a cozy cafe, Copenhagen promises a blend of charm and innovation that’s bound to make your trip unforgettable. 

As you set foot in Copenhagen, soak yourself into the city’s culture, from the bustling markets to the serene harbors, and let every cobblestone tell you its story. And remember, we’re here to keep you one step ahead with our city guides and insider tips— plus a regular dose of travel inspiration. 

So pack your bags, grab your sense of adventure, and get ready to explore Copenhagen in style. And once you’re back, don’t forget to share with us your fun experiences, amazing discoveries, and unforgettable memories. We’re confident that your Danish getaway is as fashionable and fascinating as Copenhagen itself!

Katie
Author: Katie

Katie is all about hitting the road solo, always on the lookout for spots the internet hasn't fully discovered yet. She’s the one turning left when the map says right, hunting for those genuine, "you had to be there" moments. With a style that's as engaging as a late-night chat by the hostel fire, her stories aren't just about places, but the raw, unfiltered joy of exploring them on your own terms.

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